Pro-life campaigners condemn Jeremy Corbyn over Labour manifesto pledge for abortion in NI
11 May 2017
Pro-Life Campaigners Condemn Jeremy Corbyn Over Labour Manifesto Pledge to Override Good Friday Agreement and use Westminster To Impose UK Abortion Act on Northern Ireland.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of "breathtaking arrogance" by the world’s longest established pro-life group over the party’s election commitment to impose legalised abortion on Northern Ireland through Westminster.
Details of the proposal have emerged in copies of the party’s leaked manifesto.
According to reports in The Guardian, Labour will "extend the right to abortion to Northern Ireland".
The revelation has sparked outrage in the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children which says the commitment demonstrates "utter contempt" for the voters of the Province.
SPUC, the world’s oldest pro-life group - marking its 50th anniversary this year - following the introduction of the 1967 Abortion Act at Westminster is appalled by the manifesto commitment.
The organisation’s Northern Ireland development officer Liam Gibson, said:
"The decision by the Labour Party to include in its election manifesto a commitment to impose the Abortion Act on Northern Ireland demonstrates a shocking level of utter contempt for the people of the Province and the devolved institutions established by the Good Friday Agreement."
"We are outraged but so should every single person in Northern Ireland by this highhanded interference.
"We have the legal and constitutional right to make our own laws on issues such as abortion, which is a matter for the devolved Assembly in Stormont.
"If the Labour Party were to carry out its threat to override the democratic settlement in the Province in order to push its own extremist and unpopular abortion agenda, it would severely damage the credibility of the political process and make the existence of the Assembly meaningless."
Mr Gibson continued:
"In February 2016 members of the Assembly voted to maintain Northern Ireland's current protection for children before birth. All the parties at Westminster should respect that decision.
"It has long been the policy of the Labour Party to introduce the Abortion Act to Northern Ireland but until now the party’s leadership has always recognised the level of opposition to such a move.
"In January 2017 a leading economist estimated at least 100,000 people - men, women and children - are alive today in Northern Ireland who would not have been alive if the Province had the same rate of abortions as Scotland has had since the late 1960s."
Mr Gibson said:
"Northern Ireland has steadfastly resisted every effort to implement the legalisation of abortion which would inevitably result in a slaughter of innocent babies. And don’t forget. Every abortion has two victims. One dead. One wounded.
"The NHS, education, jobs, the economy - they’re all important.
"But for unborn babies, Polling Day is much more than that.
"For them … it’s a matter of life or death."
John Smeaton, SPUC’s chief executive said:
"SPUC exists now for the same reason it was created in 1967. To protect human life from conception. To fight for the rights of those who cannot defend themselves.
"To give voice to the voiceless - the unknown, the unseen, the unheard. To make the world hear the silent screams of babies being killed on an industrial scale.
"Since the Abortion Act of 1967, an estimated 8.7 million unborn children have been killed in the UK - that’s almost FIVE times the 1.8 million population of Northern Ireland.
"There are around 200,000 abortions every year in the UK - that’s 550 every day. Almost all (98 percent) carried out at the expense of the taxpayer.
"SPUC - and our pro-life allies - seek to uphold Article Three of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which guarantees the right to life so that unborn babies are not treated as 'non-persons'.
"The job of the pro-life movement in 2017 is the same as it’s always been, to stop the concept of abortion becoming normal. It is normal not to kill children.
"On election day Northern Ireland has another chance to make a stand for the innocents and I ask everyone to contact their candidates urging them to vote against the legalisation of abortion.
"And I would encourage all voters to take a look at what has happened in the rest of the UK and learn from our mistakes. Make sure you vote only for pro-life candidates as they can and will make a difference in the fight for the rights of the unborn child."
Notes to editors:
For further information contact Liam Gibson, Northern Ireland Development Officer on:
Issued on behalf of SPUC by Tom Hamilton Communications: